Worship in the Home: Sunday, April 12, 2020 – Resurrection of Our Lord

Posted on April 7, 2020 by ELCA Worship

Worship in the Home

Resurrection of Our Lord: Easter Day
April 12, 2020

In this time of world-wide crisis, congregations throughout this church are not able to gather for worship as the body of Christ. While you cannot be together in person, we can hear the word of God and hold each other in prayer. We offer this brief resource as an aid for prayer in the home. As with our prayers in the gathered assembly for worship, you are encouraged to prepare or adapt them locally for your context.


Set out and light a candle, perhaps the one you used last night at the Vigil. You may wish to have a bowl of water as a reminder of your baptism into the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. If you have a hymnal (or using the graphic below), you might now sing or read “Now All the Vault of Heaven Resounds” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship # 367) or “The Day of Resurrection.” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship # 361)

Now All the Vault of Heaven Resounds

The Day of Resurrection!


The Prayer of the Day may be prayed. 

God of mercy, we no longer look for Jesus among the dead, for he is alive and has become the Lord of life. Increase in our minds and hearts the risen life we share with Christ, and help us to grow as your people toward the fullness of eternal life with you, through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, who lives and reigns with you and the Holy Spirit, one God, now and forever.


Then the readings for this Sunday may be read, as follows.

First Reading  Jeremiah 31:1-6

1At that time, says the LORD, I will be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people.
2Thus says the LORD:
The people who survived the sword
found grace in the wilderness;
when Israel sought for rest,
3the Lord appeared to him from far away.
I have loved you with an everlasting love;
therefore I have continued my faithfulness to you.
4Again I will build you, and you shall be built,
O virgin Israel!
Again you shall take your tambourines,
and go forth in the dance of the merrymakers.
5Again you shall plant vineyards
on the mountains of Samaria;
the planters shall plant,
and shall enjoy the fruit.
6For there shall be a day when sentinels will call
in the hill country of Ephraim:
“Come, let us go up to Zion,
to the LORD our God.”

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.


Psalm  Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24 may be sung or read in response to the First Reading.

1Give thanks to the LORD, for the | LORD is good;
God’s mercy en- | dures forever.
2Let Israel | now declare,
“God’s mercy en- | dures forever.”
14The LORD is my strength | and my song,
and has become | my salvation.
15Shouts of rejoicing and salvation echo in the tents | of the righteous:
“The right hand of the | LORD acts valiantly!
16The right hand of the LORD | is exalted!
The right hand of the | Lord acts valiantly!”
17I shall not | die, but live,
and declare the works | of the LORD.
18The LORD indeed pun- | ished me sorely,
but did not hand me o- | ver to death.
19Open for me the | gates of righteousness;
I will enter them and give thanks | to the LORD.
20“This is the gate | of the LORD;
here the righ- | teous may enter.”
21I give thanks to you, for you have | answered me
and you have become | my salvation.
22The stone that the build- | ers rejected
has become the chief | cornerstone.
23By the LORD has | this been done;
it is marvelous | in our eyes.
24This is the day that the | LORD has made;
let us rejoice and be | glad in it.


Second Reading  Colossians 3:1-4

1If you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. 2Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth, 3for you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God. 4When Christ who is your life is revealed, then you also will be revealed with him in glory.

Word of God, word of life.
Thanks be to God.


Gospel  Matthew 28:1-10

The holy Gospel according to Matthew.
Glory to you, O Lord.

1After the sabbath, as the first day of the week was dawning, Mary Magdalene and the other Mary went to see the tomb. 2And suddenly there was a great earthquake; for an angel of the Lord, descending from heaven, came and rolled back the stone and sat on it. 3His appearance was like lightning, and his clothing white as snow. 4For fear of him the guards shook and became like dead men. 5But the angel said to the women, “Do not be afraid; I know that you are looking for Jesus who was crucified. 6He is not here; for he has been raised, as he said. Come, see the place where he lay. 7Then go quickly and tell his disciples, ‘He has been raised from the dead, and indeed he is going ahead of you to Galilee; there you will see him.’ This is my message for you.” 8So they left the tomb quickly with fear and great joy, and ran to tell his disciples. 9Suddenly Jesus met them and said, “Greetings!” And they came to him, took hold of his feet, and worshiped him. 10Then Jesus said to them, “Do not be afraid; go and tell my brothers to go to Galilee; there they will see me.”

The gospel of the Lord.
Praise to you, O Christ.


Having read these readings, think of this:

This Easter we are indeed in the wilderness, and our life is indeed hidden. But because of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, we believe that the ancient promises to Israel are now extended to us. In the resurrection, God loves you with an everlasting love. God will again build you. Christ is your life and you shall appear with him. And today the Galilee where, by the power of the Spirit Jesus may be seen alive, is in our own homes. Against all sadness, this is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. Christ is risen. Alleluia.


If you have a hymnal (or using the graphic below), you might now sing or read “I Know That My Redeemer Lives” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship #619) or “That Easter Day with Joy Was Bright.” (Evangelical Lutheran Worship #384)

I Know that My Redeemer Lives!

That Easter Day with Joy Was Bright


Prayers of Intercession

Dear members of God’s family: on this Easter Day marked by both sorrow and joy, our prayers for the church, the world, and all in need include both heartfelt lament and fervent praise. The response to each prayer of mercy will be, “Your mercy endures forever” and the response to each acclamation of praise will be, “Alleluia! Thanks be to God.”

A brief silence.

God our Sanctuary, we lament that we cannot gather today for public worship, that death stalks the church, and that our sorrows and fears blunt our songs of Alleluia. . .

A brief silence. 

Show the church your mercy: Your mercy endures forever.

And yet around the globe we praise you for the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave, for our baptismal washing in his life, for your presence come to us in the word, and for the hope the gospel brings. . .

A brief silence.

We praise you for the church: Alleluia! Thanks be to God!


God our Creator, we lament that our lifestyles have harmed your creation and that our efforts to repair your earth are now postponed. . .

A brief silence.

 Show the earth your mercy: Your mercy endures forever.

And yet we praise you for the beauty of the natural world, for springtime flowers and budding trees, for the soil and rain that nourish the crops. . .

A brief silence.

We praise you for the earth: Alleluia! Thanks be to God!


God our Governor, we lament that war and violence still rage, that countless people suffer injustice, that the plight of refugees seems beyond solution, that appropriate governmental action is delayed and inadequate. . .

A brief silence.

Show the world your mercy: Your mercy endures forever.

And yet we praise you that there is peace on our streets, that some elected officials and many aid agencies are devoting themselves to save the people and to share our food, and that we are given connection to friends and family through technology. . .

A brief silence.

We praise you for community: Alleluia! Thanks be to God!


God our Physician, we lament all who suffer, those we name here before you (especially. . .) but especially we lament the coronavirus and its incalculable suffering, the many thousands sick, the fear instilled, the loss of employment, the cancelation of plans, the overflow in hospitals, the scarcity of supplies, the exhaustion of medical staff. . .

A brief silence.

Show all the needy your mercy: Your mercy endures forever.

And yet we praise you for health and well-being wherever it thrives, for the dedication of medical workers, for the goodwill of volunteers, for the generosity of benefactors, and for the comfort we receive from the power of the resurrection. . .

A brief silence.

We praise you for healing: Alleuia! Thanks be to God!


God, our Everlasting Arms, mother us in our heartache and distress, receive now our personal laments, and help each of us to praise your name.

A brief silence.

We praise you for hearing my prayers: Alleluia! Thanks be to God!


God our Life Eternal, we lament the thousands dead and the sadness of all who mourn, and we remember before you all who have died in the faith. . .

A brief silence.

Show to all humanity your mercy: Your mercy endures forever.

And yet here we join in our Alleluias, and we praise you on this Easter Day for your promise of an endless banquet of joyous life in your presence, when disease and sorrow will be no more.

A brief silence.

In life and death we praise you: Alleluia! Thanks be to God!


God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, who are Source of life, Word of salvation, and Power of mercy, into your hands we commend all for whom we pray, trusting in your compassionate might, for the sake of him who lived, died, and rose for us, Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord.


Then conclude with these prayers.

Let us pray,

A brief silence is kept before the prayer.

Praise and thanks to you, holy God, for by your Word you made all things: you spoke light into darkness, called forth beauty from chaos, and brought life into being. For your Word of life, O God,
we give you thanks and praise.

By your Word you called your people Israel to tell of your wonderful gifts: freedom from captivity, water on the desert journey, a pathway home from exile, wisdom for life with you. For your Word of life, O God,
we give you thanks and praise.

Through Jesus, your Word made flesh, you speak to us and call us to witness: forgiveness through the cross, life to those entombed by death, the way of your self-giving love. For your Word of life, O God,
we give you thanks and praise.

Send your Spirit of truth, O God; rekindle your gifts within us: renew our faith, increase our hope, and deepen our love, for the sake of a world in need. Faithful to your Word, O God, draw near to all who call on you; through Jesus Christ, our Savior and Lord, to whom, with you and the Holy Spirit, be honor and glory forever.


Our Father in heaven,
hallowed be your name,
your kingdom come,
your will be done,
on earth as in heaven.
Give us today our daily bread.
Forgive us our sins
as we forgive those who sin against us.
Save us from the time of trial,
and deliver us from evil.
For the kingdom, the power,
and the glory are yours,
now and forever.


Then speak the Blessing:

The blessing of the living God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit,
surround and sustain you,
keep you from harm,
and fill you with courage.

Alleluia! Christ is Risen!
Christ is risen indeed!  Alleluia!


Devotional Music Links: For your individual or group devotion, you may choose to listen to the following choral recordings made available through Augsburg Fortress. “The Day of Resurrection”; “Awake My Heart with Gladness”; “Jesus Christ is Risen Today.”


Readings for the Week:

Monday Psalm 118:1-2, 14-24. Tuesday Colossians 3:12-17. Wednesday Matthew 28:1-10. Thursday Psalm 16. Friday 1 Corinthians 15:1-11. Saturday Song of Solomon 8:6-7.

Second Sunday of Easter (commemoration of Olavus Petri, priest, died 1552; Laurentius Petri, Bishop of Uppsala, died 1573; renewers of the church) Acts 2:14a, 22-32; Psalm 16; 1 Peter 1:3-9; John 20:19-31.


Reflection material: Gordon Lathrop. Intercessory Prayer: Gail Ramshaw

Portions from Evangelical Lutheran Worship and sundaysandseasons.com, © 2020 Augsburg Fortress. All rights reserved. Reprinted by permission under Augsburg Fortress.

Readings from Readings for the Assembly © 1995, 1996, 1997 Augsburg Fortress. Citations from the Revised Common Lectionary © 1992 Consultation on Common Texts. Scripture quotations from NRSV Bible, Copyright © 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America, adapted and edited with permission by Gordon Lathrop and Gail Ramshaw.



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